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UGA moves up to 7th in Kiplinger’s “Best Value” ranking

UGA moves up to 7th in Kiplinger’s “Best Value” ranking

Athens, Ga. – The University of Georgia is seventh in this year’s ranking of best values among 100 public colleges and universities by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine.

UGA moved up three places from its 10th place spot in last year’s Kiplinger’s list, which ranks public schools that “combine outstanding economic value with top-notch education.” The new ranking is in the magazine’s February issue, which will be on newsstands Jan. 8.

More than 500 colleges and universities were surveyed for the ranking and the top 100 were chosen on the basis of academic quality, cost and financial aid.

The magazine puts total annual costs to attend UGA at $13,754 for students from Georgia and $28,858 for out-of-state students. UGA’s in-state cost is fourth lowest among the top 10 schools.

The magazine says students graduate from UGA with an average debt of $13,478, second-lowest among the top 10 schools.

According to the magazine, the national average total cost for an in-state student to attend a four-year public college or university in the current academic year is $13,589, a 5.9 percent increase over the previous year. The total average cost for an out-of-state student exceeds $24,000, up 5.4 percent from the previous year.

While the increases outstrip inflation, public school costs remain relatively modest compared to expenses for private colleges and universities, the magazine says. “Despite rising tuition costs, there are still many first-rate institutions providing outstanding academics at an affordable price,” said Fred Frailey, editor of Kiplinger’s. “Schools like these prove graduates can enter the workforce with a great education and without a huge cloud of debt looming.”

The magazine notes that many of the top-100 schools hold costs down with income from lotteries, university-branded apparel and private fund raising. Many schools also offer merit-based financial aid to high-achieving students, including UGA where virtually all first-year students from Georgia receive the HOPE Scholarship, which covers tuition and fees.

Two other Georgia schools are in the top 100-Georgia Institute of Technology, ranked 12th, and Georgia College and State University, ranked 83rd.

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill tops the list. Other schools in the top 10 include the University of Florida, University of Virginia, College of William and Mary, New College of Florida, State University of New York at Geneseo, State University of New York at Binghamton, University of Washington and University of California, Los Angeles.